Reminder: "DREAM: Japan GP Final" replay debuts Friday on HDNet
As a reminder, a tape-delayed broadcast of July's "DREAM: Japan GP Final" event debuts on HDNet this week.
Officials recently announced that the July 16 event will debut on HDNet on Aug. 5 at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT).
The event, which didn't air live on North America, took place at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo and featured two title fights, as well as the conclusion of the DREAM Japan bantamweight grand prix.
DREAM.17 adds Shinya Aoki vs. Rob McCullough, Satoru Kitaoka vs. Willamy Freire
Two new bouts are official for next month's DREAM.17 event.
In a non-title fight, DREAM lightweight champ Shinya Aoki (28-5 MMA, 12-2 DREAM) takes on former WEC titleholder "Razor" Rob McCullough (19-7 MMA, 0-0 DREAM), and in another lightweight contest, ex-Sengoku champ Satoru Kitaoka (28-10-9 MMA, 0-0 DREAM) meets recent UFC fighter Willamy "Chiquerim" Freire (18-4 MMA, 0-0 DREAM).
DREAM.17 takes place Sept. 24 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
DREAM.17 official for September; organization to use three five-minute rounds
As expected, DREAM will return in September, but it will look a little different when it does.
At a Wednesday press conference, DREAM event producer Keiichi Sasahara officially announced that DREAM.17 will take place Sept. 24 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama Japan.
But contrary to previous events, DREAM will use the card to launch a new rule change: the use of three, five-minute rounds.
Dream.17, world bantamweight grand prix likely for September
With its second show of 2011 now in the books, the Japanese-based DREAM promotion is expected to host its third event in September, officials recently announced.
It's expected to feature the start of an eight-man world bantamweight grand prix.
Officials have not revealed a date and venue for the event.
Dream Fight for Japan GP Final Results
Hiroyuki Takaya fended off a stiff challenge from Kazuyuki Miyata to take a split decision win and retained his Featherweight title at Dream: Fight for Japan. Takaya showed excellent take down defense and good striking to get the nod on 2/3 of the judges' cards. Takaya bounces back with the win from his April loss to Roberto Peralta in his Strikeforce debut.
In the final of the Dream bantamweight tournament, Hideo Tokoro defeated Masakazu Imanari by unanimous decision to win the tournament. Imanari pulled guard throughout the fight and Tokoro managed to evade all his submission attempts. The judges felt Tokoro's striking advantage was enough to win the fight.
In other action, Dream light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi held on to his belt by finishing Hiroshi Izumi with a first round TKO. Tatsuya Kawajiri finished Drew Fickett in the first round in a lightweight bout and Tatsuya Mizuno finished Trevor Prangley in a one-round slugfest.
145 lb. title: Hiroyuki Takaya def. Kazuyuki Miyata via split decision
135 lb. Tournament Final: Hideo Tokoro def. Masakazu Imanari via unanimous decision
205 lb. title: Gegard Mousasi def. Hiroshi Izumi via TKO at 3:29 round 1
155 lbs.: Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Drew Fickett via TKO at 4:41 round 1
135 lbs.: Kenji Osawa def. Keisuke Fujiwara via unanimous decision
205 lbs.: Tatsuya Mizuno def. Trevor Prangley via TKO at 4:41 round 1
175 lbs.: Marius Zaromskis def. Eiji Ishikawa via unanimous decision
155 lbs.: Eiji Mitsuoka def. Bruno Carvalho via unanimous decision
Todd Duffee out of Saturday's "DREAM: Japan GP Final" with injury
An undisclosed injury has forced ex-UFC heavyweight Todd Duffee (6-2 MMA, 0-1 DREAM) to withdraw from this weekend's "DREAM: Japan GP Final" event.
A source close to the event today confirmed the news with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after ESPN.com's initial report.
Nick Gaston (5-1 MMA, 0-0 DREAM), Duffee's originally scheduled opponent, also has been scratched from the card due to the late-notice change.
"DREAM: Japan GP Final" takes place this Saturday, July 16, at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo. No North American broadcast plans have been announced for the event (officially dubbed "Fight for Japan: DREAM Japan GP Final – 2011 Bantamweight Japan Tournament Final").
Mizuto Hirota Finally Ready to Return Twenty Months After Shocking Injury
On December 31, 2009, Mizuto Hirota got his arm wrenched behind his back by possibly the most ruthless man in MMA: DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki.
Hirota, who was then the Sengoku lightweight champion and had engaged in a war of words with Aoki prior to the bout, refused to tap and so Aoki wrenched the arm further and further until Hirota's body shook and a sickening snap was heard through Saitama Super Arena as referee Yuji Shimada proceeded to dive in and covered his mouth in shock.
With Hirota lying stunned on the canvas and his arm destroyed, Shinya Aoki stood over his defeated opponent while sticking his tongue out and extending his middle finger before excitedly running around the ring and flipping off the audience. Not yet finished, Aoki then laughed at Hirota and mocked his broken arm before proudly named the submission after his boss, the "Keiichi Sasahara 2010."
Hirota obviously should have tapped, but Aoki's performance at Dynamite!! 2009 was one of the lowest points in the history of Japanese MMA. At Deep 55 on August 26, twenty months after getting his arm snapped, Hirota will finally be ready to return.
Duffee/Gaston and Osawa/Fujiwara added to DREAM 17
Two new fights are official for next month's DREAM.17 event: heavyweights Todd Duffee (6-2 MMA, 0-1 DREAM) vs. Nick Gaston (5-0 MMA, 0-0 DREAM) and a Japan bantamweight grand-prix third-place fight of Kenji Osawa (17-10-2 MMA, 2-1 DREAM) vs. Keisuke Fujiwara (11-3-4 MMA, 1-0 DREAM).
DREAM.17 is slated for July 16 at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo.
The Japan bantamweight tournament's finale also concludes at the show.
No North American broadcast plans have been announced for the show.
Programming reminder: DREAM 'Fight for Japan' replay airs tonight (June 3) at 10pm ET on HDNet
Headlining the main event was a 155-pound match-up between top ranked lightweight Shinya Aoki and UFC veteran Rich Clementi. There was a merry-go-round of opponents for "The Tobikan Judan" in this event, but when the music stopped, it was "No Love" who was awarded the high-profile fight.
Also featured was an intriguing featherweight scrap between Joachim "Hellboy" Hansen and Mitsuhiro Kikuno as well as a compelling lightweight battle between Katsunori Kikuno and Daisuke Nakamura.
"DREAM.17: Japan GP Final" gets Mousasi vs. Izumi, Takaya vs. Miyata title fights
DREAM.17 is slated for July 16 at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, official recently announced.
The event features a championship doubleheader with light-heavyweight champ Gegard Mousasi (30-3-2 MMA, 8-0 DREAM) vs. Hiroshi Izumi (4-1 MMA, 2-0 DREAM) and featherweight titleholder Hiroyuki Takaya (15-9-1 MMA, 6-2 DREAM) vs. Kazuyuki Miyata (11-7 MMA, 4-1 DREAM).
The organization's Japan bantamweight tournament also concludes at the show.
No broadcast plans have been announced for the show.
In addition to the title fights, DREAM's eight-man Japan bantamweight grand prix concludes with finalists Masakazu Imanari (23-8-2 MMA, 2-1 DREAM) vs. Hideo Tokoro (29-23-1 MMA, 7-6 DREAM). Additionally, a third-place fight between semifinalists Atsushi Yamamoto and Kenji Osawa (17-10-2 MMA, 2-1 DREAM) also is slated for the card.
McKee out of fight with Aoki; search for replacement is on. (Jami Varner in?)
Initially, MMAJunkie.com reported on Monday that McKee (Pictured) had withdrawn from the bout due to visa issues. However, Dream official Mike Kogan asserted that visa problems were not the reason the fight fell apart.
According to Kogan, Monday’s report was how he found out that the fight was no longer a go.
“That’s actually why it upset me. I’ve got to read [on the Internet] that the guy who I fought for [to be on the card] is all of a sudden not fighting and making it sound like it’s beyond his control,” Kogan told Sherdog.com. “The visa issues were never a problem. I figure that part out first, before I book fighters. I have a very good travel agent that I’ve been working with forever on [acquiring] visas, even on last-minute notice. Here, we almost had three weeks, so it wasn’t an issue.”
...“He needs to come up with a better excuse as to why he isn’t fighting, because it isn’t the visa. As a matter of fact, I can get him his visa today. It’s still not too late. All he has to do is drive to [Los Angeles].”
Takeshi Inoue vs Koichiro Matsumoto added to Dream 17: Fight for Japan
A featherweight bout between former Shooto champion Takeshi Inoue (19-5 MMA, 0-1 DREAM) and current DEEP champ Koichiro Matsumoto (12-2 MMA, 0-0 DREAM) has been added to this month's "DREAM.17: Fight for Japan" event.
Officials today announced the addition.
DREAM.17 takes place May 29 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and serves as a fundraiser following earthquakes and a tsunami that have ravaged the country.
Shinya Aoki Will Fight at Dream 17; McKee Possible Opponent (UPDATED)
A proposed fight between Shinya Aoki and Willamy Freire appears to be off for Dream’s “Fight for Japan” event on May 29. The Dream lightweight champion will remain on the card, but in an interesting twist to the situation, it is unclear whom he will face.
MMAWeekly.com initially reported that a fight between he and former MFC lightweight champion Antonio McKee was on tap, as long as McKee could finalize his travel details. While that fight is very much still in play, our sources indicate that Dream is also negotiating with former WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner.
Sources close to the situation told MMAWeekly.com that the fight between Aoki and McKee had been verbally agreed to, at least from McKee’s side, and that a bout agreement had been issued. McKee, though, must first renew his passport and get a visa to gain entry into Japan, the same sort of issues that reportedly kept Freire out of the fight.
"Dream 17: Fight for Japan" adds Hansen vs Ishida, Uno vs Nishiura
Two bouts have been added to next month's "DREAM.17: Fight for Japan" event, officials today announced.
They include featherweights Joachim Hansen (21-10-1 MMA, 4-4 DREAM) vs. Mitsuhiro Ishida (20-6-1 MMA, 3-1 DREAM) and Caol Uno (27-14-5 MMA, 1-2 DREAM) vs. Akiyo "Wicky" Nishiura (11-6-1 MMA, 1-2 DREAM).
The event takes place May 29 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
As previously announced, the event also features the opening round and semifinals of DREAM's Japan bantamweight grand prix. DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki (27-5 MMA, 11-2 DREAM) and Katsunori Kikuno (14-3-2 MMA, 2-2 DREAM) also are expected to be in action, though their opponent haven't been determined.
JZ Cavalcante: DREAM hasn't paid me, Strikeforce is all talk
Marcelo Barone: How’s the situation with Dream? Did they give you any response to your complaints about not being paid?
JZ Cavalcante: Not so far. My manager called them, but nobody respond, nobody answers. It’s disrespectful, the guys disappeared. The situation in Japan’s not good, because of the tsunami, but it’s no excuse, because it’s been a year. They should, at least, answer me, because there’re people saying they plan to produce another event.
MB: Do you intend to start a lawsuit so you’ll get paid?
JZ: I’m considering, I’m looking for a lawyer, trying to find another agency in Japan, somebody from there, who’s closer to it, so that I can get this cleared up.
MB: What do you think about this MMA market crash in Japan? Does that surprise you?
JZ: Over the years, after 2007, I realized it’ll all the same thing. I guess Japan didn’t keep up with MMA’s boom, its professionalization. The guys from Ultimate are much different than the guys in Japan, that schedule you to fight at the last minute, with two or three weeks in advance. It’s hard to promote the event that way… I realized that, if they didn’t change its concept, and started to think world wildly, it’d happen, like it did.
MB: And how are things with Strikeforce now?
JZ: Not good at all. They’ve been promising me a fight since December and every month they say the same thing: that I’ll be on their next card, next month… Meanwhile they’ve offered me two bouts with five days in advance and I asked them sometime to think about it. They called me in the morning and I asked them to give an answer in the evening. Then, when I called them, they have found someone already, and they didn’t tell me anything, they didn’t call me… I hope that with Strikeforce’s purchase, its organization will improve, and also its structure.